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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

This Weeks Post

Hello chums, I thought I'd tell you what I've got in the post this past week. Did any of you watch Blackout? It was a drama documentary about different families during a terror attack on the electricity grid which I thought was rather good but of course you know I like prepping and I decided that a blackout is rather plausible after watching the show about it. 

And so I decided to order one of these to keep stashed away for a rainy day, it was only £26 with delivery and it filters up to 99.99% of all harmful substances out of any water apart from sea water. And it's good to filter at least 1000 litres of water. So you can just drink from a muddy puddle (should you so wish) or a river and not have to fear getting dysentery or something rank. Also 1000 litres is a lot, if you drank 8 cups of water every day through the straw it'd last you 3 years. I read they give these straws out in a lot of developing countries with unclean drinking water. 

I also decided to get a wind up/solar panel am/fm radio which was about £18.


I have a wind up torch already but I thought it might be useful in case I need to hear emergency government broadcasts or, more likely, if I get a bit bored and fancy a dance to some music. It's quite fun to play with at any rate. I don't think the solar charge would be so great unless you had it in the direct sunlight for hours.

Next thing I think to make is a first aid kit (which every house should have anyway).
 Oh lastly, look what the lovely HMRC sent me in the post to repay the tax I've over paid, a big fat cheque. Why thank you so much HMRC. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Back To Uni

Well it's that time of year - back to school time, or back to uni for me on Tuesday but there's always a distinct autumnal quality to September I think. I'm going into my second year of my nursing degree (some how got through my first one with good marks but goodness knows how!). I've been sent my next placement details which I'm really pleased about because it's local to me so no travelling and awful expenses like the time before last and I think the area of nursing I'll be in will be pretty interesting, so that all kicks off just after my birthday in November and into the New Year (2014, eek!). 

Kind of sad to end my lovely summer holidays of free time and working whenever I fancy but I'm looking forward to the second year and seeing all my friends again. Also I want to see if I can maintain my record of never having physically withdrawn a book from the university library, I do use it online but it's the physical aspect of it that's important to my record I think haha (shhhhhh tell no one!). 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Home Again

This is my rather crap photo of Ibiza airport... in my defence I was walking at the time and it was rather early in the morning. The first rubbish thing about easyJet (count them if you will) - bad flight times. All the shops were closed or closing so I couldn't tell you if they had anything good. We did pass David Guetta's airport lounge nightclub which I have to say was particularly unappealing after a long coach transfer and waiting for a rubbish flight.

There weren't enough seats at the departure gate (are there ever?) but happily thanks to a bit of a dash to the queue front we got to board right behind the people that had paid for the privilege to board first - and when I mean right behind I mean right behind, they had no head start whatsoever, complete rip off for them. Then we all reached the plane doors.... where we had to wait for 15 minutes whilst the plane was cleaned or whatever it was that was happening to it. I mean why even send us through to board if they weren't ready? I then had a flight back with.... yes you guessed it, a screaming baby. Ugh my goodness, why do parents bring babies on flights (especially flights at 1am when it's safe to presume lots of the passengers would like to sleep), it was just dreadful and the babies awful mother kept ignoring the seatbelt signs and walking up and down the aisle with it which made it cry more whilst she was harried by the flight attendants. 

Finally I was back in blighty and they'd even put up some bunting for my arrival at the train station (or at least I like to think it was for me). And so it was onto the underground. 

Past the armed police (ahh!) and back to Norwich, a fine city.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Es Cana

We'd heard about a boat cruise from Portinatx where my Mum, Sister and I were staying to Es Cana where there was large hippy market on a Wednesday.

So we got a ticket and walked down stairs of death to a rocky outcrop which was a health and safety inspector's nightmare and waited for the boat. There was much jostling and queue pushing and there were a few seats on the main part of the boat and empty seats right at the front of the boat near the helm. Well... to say the water was choppy was an understatement, we got absolutely soaked (it was hot though so it was ok - also I was behind my Sister so she got sprayed with the majority of the sea water haha). However, because it was so choppy everyone at the main part of the ship got really sea sick (including the queue pushers!); there was much passing around of paper bags but everyone at the front of the boat was fine. The sailors told us that the front was the best part to sit at to avoid sickness, so really we had good seats by luck. Also they sang us a song too which we danced in our seats too (we aren't a serious family).  My Mum had to protect all our bags and phones and stuff as she sat at the back of us and she put them under her top, the sailors didn't speak a lot of English but they had a good laugh and said to her "Baby!" which just made me burst into laughter. 

We stepped off at Es Cana to explore but first we all fancied a drink so we stopped off at this open air place that served food and drinks and had a pool and stuff and places to lounge. We only wanted iced coffees so we just parked up. Goodness me they were pushy, there was a sign outside that said come and use our pool (not that we wanted to; we hadn't bought swimsuits) everyone welcome. As soon as we got in we discovered you had to pay to use the pool and there were some lounging beds to the side you also had to pay to use - 30 euros!!! I don't what kind of person agrees to pay that but more fool them. 

Then it was off to the Hippy Market, a huge labyrinth of stalls that reeked of incense and dreadlocks. 

It was packed with other tourists like ourselves but also locals, a lot of the things were expensive I thought but I suppose that's the same wherever you go that other tourists go too. 

Lots of the stalls sold crafted things that I assume the people had hand made like jewellery and clothing.

And... you know... other more traditional hippy goods...

There weren't just stalls and food,, there was lots of people playing music and performing - like this ornate fellow here. 

And of course the obligatory floating people I saw in Rome (I looked up how they were doing it this time). 

My Mum took a look at some of the clothes but they were all pretty expensive. We noticed that all of the sellers that were Spanish had high prices and wouldn't budge on them but all the sellers that weren't Spanish and had obviously moved there would haggle every time and so they had prices that were more reasonable so we just bought everything from them instead. 

After a spot of lunch and a good deal more bargain hunting we headed back to the boat but luckily it wasn't so choppy on the way back. We decided to move right to back whilst others clamoured to get to the front and I think I even had a little snooze at one point (it was a long journey!). We noticed some people that were there on the way there weren't there on the way back, they'd opted to spend a fortune on a taxi rather than face the paper bags again haha. 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Ibiza Town

After a little snorkel (in which my mask kept leaking - I think my face must be an odd shape!) and a swim and sunbathe we decided to do a spot of shopping one day. 

The weather was better than it had been but we braved the bus to Ibiza Town. 

It was pretty nice there, the weather was hotter too so we set out to explore.

We kept to the port and stuck to the old town. 

It was really pretty to walk round.

Everywhere there were boutique shops and stalls and cafes.

It was touristy and a bit hippy but it was interesting.

All the walkways were decorated, it was really different.

This was all fine until we went to take a taxi back to the bus station and there were none to be had and then chaos ensued. But we did eventually get back - phew!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

First Day

The first day in Portinatx the weather was a bit rainy on and off but not cold.

Lucky it did improve all the other days we stayed there but we were all tired from the flight and looking out at the rain thinking uhhhh ohhhh before we braved it for breakfast. 

I was starting to be thankful I brought a pack of cards. 

But it did look up after breakfast and we swam and sunbathed so that was good, then we sat out by the all inclusive bar bit and did play cards and watched a lightening storm. That was until a pleasant but strange German couple sat down at our table and the lady asked for the cards. I thought they wanted to play with us, no no, she was there to tell my future. 

Her - You will get married and have a baby next year

Me - Oh! Err...I hope not! 

She then did my Mum and Sister's fortunes (which I think they were possibly also wishing were not true haha) and told us that Jesus had told her it would rain at 10am tomorrow (it didn't). After showing us photos of their cats and relations ze Germans disappeared off again and we decided to call it a night before anyone else turned up!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Trip Out to Ibiza

Well chums, I had only been back in the country a few days after Rome but it was time to go to London yet again and I thought I would take the train. Wasn't I stupid travelling on a Sunday. Booked my tickets months in advance like a good little thing and got to the station in Norwich - the train was cancelled and replaced with a coach. So... I went to the ticket office where the guy behind the window advised me to take the train to Ely and take a different route. So I did... and the train was late so I missed the connector into London Kings Cross... siiiiigh. So in the end I just took the first train to London anywhere and I decided I'd just take the underground to where I needed to go and that worked out pretty good.

And so it was off to Gatwick to meet up with my family, grab a bite at Jamie Oliver's restaurant (courtesy of my lovely uncle) and then queue with all the would be clubbers (ugh) to get on the Easyjet plane (double ugh!). 

It was a late ish flight and I was pretty tired, I think I had a snooze on the plane cuz the flight was short at any rate, I got the window seat (although my Mum and Sister did try to fight me for it! No chance ladies). 

Then it was off on the transfer coach from Ibiza airport to Portinatx the resort where we stayed. We didn't get in until 3am or some ungodly hour.... Hayley + no sleep = grouchy

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Coming home

We took the Leonardo Express back to the airport from the Termini station in Rome and it was 14 euros which I thought was fairly reasonable for an airport transfer!

The airport has a little vitruvian man in it.

All the shops in the airport were expensive designer shops like Gucci and Prada, I took a look in Gucci - nothing had a price tag on it! I can only assume this is so that prospective customers do not vomit with horror inside the shop?

We reserved the seats right next to the emergency exit door and enjoyed spacious leg room all flight, ahhhh luxury. I also enjoyed the free Independent paper I got, amused me all flight!

The view was a bit crap though.

Nom nom nom.

And then my chums our Roman holiday was over, but I was glad to get back home to my cat - he was pleased too, here's the best photo I managed to get between cuddles. 

To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Spanish Steps & The Fountain Of The Four Rivers

I was really glad we took a trip to visit the Fountain of the Four Rivers, there are a lot of fountains in Rome because it's how people got their water before good old indoor plumbing but this one I think was my favourite. 

It represents four rivers - the Nile, the Ganges, The Danube and the River Plate in South America (clearly the Italians were unimpressed with our dirty Thames?). 

Each side represents a different river.

And on top is an obelisk that was taken from Egypt by Emperor Caracella. Apparently in those days when Emperors went on holiday they too liked souvenirs.

We then took a trip to the Spanish Steps... that really was just steps, I know the clue's in the name and I'm not sure what I was expecting but... hmm. It was surrounded by very interesting shops though and it was a pleasant part of Rome to be in. 

To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below. 

Palatine Hill, The Forum & Vittorio Emanuele II Monument

We took a trip to Palatine Hill and the Forum - mainly because it was free in the Colosseum ticket. 

To be honest I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed it, it was a lot of walking in direct sunlight around ruins that you needed rather a good imagination to enjoy.

Some of the buildings were in a better condition but you couldn't go in them...

So I was rather pleased to leave and enjoy the street outside that was full of tat

We did notice that the Vittorio Emanuele  II Monument was right next door though so we took a little look round, it really was very impressive. 

And they had a tomb of the unknown soldier which was guarded. 

As nice as this all was there were other guards too that kept shouting at all the tourists for sitting down anywhere but on two benches, which I didn't really understand. One lady tried to eat a peach on one of these benches, she got doubly shouted at. 

At the top of the monument there was a good view out across Rome, you could take a lift to go higher but you had to pay and we didn't really care that much. 

And that's the view over the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. 

To read more about my holiday click the August tab on the right hand side and see my posts or click the "Rome" tag below.